There will be a transition for Jedrick Wills, after playing right tackle in college.
But the Browns have no hesitation about his ability to make the move, and plan to start him at left tackle from Day One.
“I’m quite confident he’s capable of being our left tackle,” Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan said, via Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They’re going to go through some lumps and they’re going to have times when they’re going to get beat, but the best in the game get beat.”
Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta said Wills was the top tackle on the team’s draft board, and Callahan said the traits he saw of Wills’ film from Alabama were evident.
“You could feel him on film,” Callahan said. “He came alive on tape and you got excited about what he was doing. . . .
“He’s got these intangibles that show up in tangible ways on film,” he said. “You watch him finish, you watch him detail and technique, you watch his consistent effort and his stamina throughout the game from start to finish and I think that’s what was the appeal for me.”
Callahan acknowledged the complication of the shift, and has sent Wills tape of left tackles he wants him to study, and they watch the film together. Callahan noted he worked with Tyron Smith through a similar transition in Dallas.
“From a muscle memory standpoint, you’ve got to get into a groove and a lot of that depends on the training and the reps and all that,” Callahan said, “but when you’re grooving a player, they need constant, consistent reps day-in and day-out to get their game up to the level that you want it.”
Of course, that’s harder to build when all the reps are virtual, but if Wills is able to make the transition as smoothly as Smith did, that will be good news for Baker Mayfield and the rest of the offense.